9 Ex-Dividend Stocks With Buy Ratings

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The following stocks go ex-dividend Wednesday, meaning an investor must purchase the shares Tuesday to qualify for the next dividend payment: Core Laboratories ( CLB), Cliffs Natural Resources ( CLF), Healthcare Services Group ( HCSG), PetSmart ( PETM), Procter & Gamble ( PG), Pentair ( PNR), Signet Jewelers ( SIG), Tyco International ( TYC) and Williams-Sonoma ( WSM).

Each of the stocks received a buy rating at TheStreet Ratings.

Core Laboratories

The reservoir management services company that works with oil and gas companies reported on April 18 first-quarter earnings of $54 million, or 1.13 a share, up from year-earlier earnings of $46.3 million, or 94 cents.

"We have been Core Labs' biggest long-term fan, recommending the stock below $20 per share and riding it up to over $100 before rating it neutral when we joined Dahlman Rose just over a year ago," Dahlman Rose analysts wrote in a report on Monday. "The stock has continued to be a powerhouse advancing another 30% - over the past 12 months. While the earnings outlook continues to be excellent, the company's formula of returning excess cash to shareholders is one that has worked very well, and management is at the top of the industry, it is difficult to recommend the stock here because of valuation."

Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 0.9%

Rated "A (Buy)" by TheStreet Ratings: The company's first-quarter gross profit margin increased from the previous year.

Core Laboratories has average liquidity. Its Quick Ratio is 1.48, which shows the company can technically meet its short-term cash needs.

In the first quarter, stockholders' net worth decreased 24.76% from the prior year.

TheStreet Ratings' price target is $171.26.

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Cliffs Natural Resources

The mining company is scheduled to report first-quarter earnings on April 25. Analysts, on average, anticipate earnings of $1.14 a share on revenue of $1.31 billion.

"We retain our US$72/sh target price on CLF and NEUTRAL rating, but see risk that the stock trades down over the next week as a result of the expected earnings downgrades," Credit Suisse analysts wrote in an April 18 report. "The iron ore market has strengthened since MarQ however (spot is now $150/t), so the street should have little need to adjust earnings for the balance of the year."

Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 3.7%

Rated "B- (Buy)" by TheStreet Ratings: The company's fourth-quarter gross profit margin decreased from the previous year.

Cliffs Natural Resources has weak liquidity. Its Quick Ratio is 0.55, which demonstrates a lack of ability to meet its short-term cash needs.

In the fourth quarter, stockholders' net worth increased 50.41% from the prior year.

TheStreet Ratings' price target is $78.94.


Healthcare Services Group

The housekeeping services company reported on April 10 first-quarter earnings of $8.6 million, or 13 cents a share, up from year-earlier earnings of $7.8 million, or 12 cents.

"We are maintaining our Buy rating on HCSG as we believe the Q1:12 EPS miss, which was driven by lower than expected gross margins, is a one-time event and has been addressed," Benchmark analysts wrote in an April 10 report.

Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 3%

Rated "A- (Buy)" by TheStreet Ratings: The company's first-quarter gross profit margin decreased from the previous year.

Healthcare Services Group is very liquid. Its Quick Ratio is 4.29, which demonstrates a lack of ability to meet its short-term cash needs.

In the first quarter, stockholders' net worth increased 2.81% from the prior year.

TheStreet Ratings' price target is $24.63.

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PetSmart

The pet supplies company reported Feb. 29 fourth-quarter earnings of $102 million, or 91 cents a share, up from year-earlier earnings of $90.3 million, or 77 cents.

"We expect a growing pet population to support a re-acceleration in growth ofPETM's higher-margin hardgoods and services, in addition to continued strong growth of super premium and natural consumables," Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts wrote in an April 17 report. "We forecast that PETM will deliver the highest EPS growth in Hardlines (24/23% in 2012/13), while improving returns. March comScore data showing PetSmart.com and Wag.com receiving 3.5mn and 227k visitors, respectively, underscores our confidence that the online threat is overblown."

Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 1%

Rated "A+ (Buy)" by TheStreet Ratings: The company's fourth-quarter gross profit margin decreased from the previous year.

PetSmart has weak liquidity. Its Quick Ratio is 0.73, which demonstrates a lack of ability to meet its short-term cash needs.

In the fourth quarter, stockholders' net worth decreased 1.43% from the prior year.

TheStreet Ratings' price target is $74.77.


Procter & Gamble

The consumer-products company is scheduled to report third-quarter results on Friday. Analysts, on average, anticipate earnings of 93 cents a share on $20.30 billion in revenue.

"We see solid, if unspectacular, risk/reward, and believe that P&G's new plans, despite a lack of detail, do raise the likelihood of savings being delivered," Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts wrote in an April 17 report. "PG has historically been the least active in driving savings targets internally, offering opportunity for change. In a recent report, we noted that if PG can generate 75% of its headline savings target, we believe it can deliver 9% annual EPS growth, while also funding about 90-95bps of mix drag (Dissecting cost savings: enough to offset mix and still grow?)."

Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 3.3%

Rated "A- (Buy)" by TheStreet Ratings: The company's second-quarter gross profit margin was basically the same as the previous year.

Procter & Gamble has very weak liquidity. Its Quick Ratio is 0.38, which demonstrates a lack of ability to meet its short-term cash needs.

In the second quarter, stockholders' net worth was about the same as it was the prior year.

TheStreet Ratings' price target is $76.89.

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Pentair

The industrial manufacturing company is scheduled to report its first-quarter earnings on Tuesday. Analysts, on average, anticipate earnings of 56 cents a share on revenue of $899.27 million.

"Yesterday's announced planned merger between Tyco Flow Control and Pentair appears to offer substantial value for shareholders in the near-term, with more meaningful value if estimated operating and revenue synergies are realized," Wedbush analysts wrote in a March 29 report. "Though a meaningful transaction is a bit disconcerting on the heels of the company's significant acquisition of CPT last year, there appears to be sufficient operating and financial synergies to justify the transaction."

Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 2%

Rated "B (Buy)" by TheStreet Ratings: The company's fourth-quarter gross profit margin was basically the same as it was the previous year.

Pentair has weak liquidity. Its Quick Ratio is 0.96, which demonstrates a lack of ability for the company to meet its short-term cash needs.

In the fourth quarter, stockholders' net worth decreased 7.63% from the prior year.

TheStreet Ratings' price target is $51.10.


Signet Jewelers

The jewelry company reported on March 22 fourth-quarter earnings of $156.6 million, or $1.79 a share, up from year-earlier earnings of $105.4 million, or $1.21.

"Shares of SIG have come under pressure post Q4 earnings (down 8% vs. group flat) due to a perceived comp slowdown and negative Street revisions via the impact of a Q1 calendar shift," JPMorgan analysts wrote in an April 2 report. "Now, with the negative catalyst out of the way, we feel that the SIG shares can begin to work again from here. Reasons for our optimism stem from 1) the fact that the negative Q1 Mother's Day shift will turn into a positive Q2 shift, 2) an anticipated near-term roundof price increases should give a boost to both margins and comps coming out of Q1, 3) we believe the negative UK comps in February bounced back in March and 4) Street numbers now reflect a more compelling "beat and raise" setup."

Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 1%

Rated "A- (Buy)" by TheStreet Ratings: The company's fourth-quarter gross profit margin was about the same as the prior year.

Signet Jewelers has strong liquidity. Its Quick Ratio is 1.87, which shows the company can meet its short-term cash needs.

In the fourth quarter, stockholders' net worth increased 17.53% from the previous year.

TheStreet Ratings' price target is $54.23.

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Tyco International

The security products and services company is scheduled to report second-quarter results on Thursday.

"We believe there is significant embedded TYC value to be unlocked because of the separation," Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts wrote in a report Monday. "Independent of the separation, TYC shares should also continue to benefit from margin runway, share repurchase, and the overall company's relatively defensive portfolio mix (roughly 50% of sales from recurring, highly predicatable services) against a backdrop of economic uncertainty."

Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 1.8%

Rated "A (Buy)" by TheStreet Ratings: The company's first-quarter gross profit margin increased from the previous year.

Tyco has weak liquidity. Its Quick Ratio is 0.83, which demonstrates a lack of ability to meet its short-term cash needs.

In the first quarter, stockholders' net worth remained about the same as the prior year.

TheStreet Ratings' price target is $64.01.


Williams-Sonoma

The home goods company reported on March 8 fourth-quarter earnings of $1.3 billion, or $1.17 a share, up from year-earlier earnings of $1.2 billion, or $1.05 a share.

"We believe WSM's dominant e-commerce business remains a significant growth catalyst," Canaccord analysts wrote in an April 2 report. "WSM is the clear leader in home furnishings ecommerce, generating $1.4B in FY11 online revenues, nearly 3x the size of its closest competitor."

Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 2.3%

Rated "A- (Buy)" by TheStreet Ratings: The company's fourth-quarter gross profit margin was about the same as it does the previous year.

Williams-Sonoma has weak liquidity. Its Quick Ratio is 0.99, which demonstrates a lack of ability to meet its short-term cash needs.

In the fourth quarter, stockholders' net worth was basically the same as the prior year.

TheStreet Ratings' price target is $43.97.

-- Written by Alexandra Zendrian

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